The reason I started blogging years ago was for the sole purpose of preserving family recipes and organizing them into an easy accessible format. This recipe for buttery jam thumbprint cookies is one of the very recipes I knew I must save when I first created onearmedmama.com. My whole family loves it, it's super customizable and it was passed down through multiple generations.

My husband's step mom used to make these every Christmas, and before she passed away I asked her for the recipe.  He loves these and so does my very picky daughter. If someone who hates pizza, apple pie and hamburgers approves you know it has to be good.


The perfect mix of buttery texture, crunchy nuttiness and sweet jam they, along with decorated sugar cookies and my very favorite chewy ginger cookies, are star players on my yearly Christmas gift cookie plates.

Gather your ingredients

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts, 1/4 cup jam or jelly.

You can customize this recipe using any combination of nuts and jam. I personally love the raspberry-pecan in this post.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Cream butter and packed brown sugar (this is a great chance to include your little helpers who love nothing more than getting their hands sugary)

Separate the egg and reserve the white for later.

Add egg yolk and vanilla extract to the creamed mixture and combine.

Blend flour and salt and stir in.

Finely chop pecans.

Setup a station with the reserved egg white, chopped nuts ungreased cookie sheet.

Whip egg white with fork and dip teaspoon sized cookie balls in egg white,

then roll in chopped nuts,

place on cookie sheet 1" apart and make an indent in the center with your finger.

Bake 10 minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool. If indents are not as pronounced as you like, press finger in again while still warm.

Stir raspberry jam to loosen and spoon 1/4 teaspoon in the middle of each cookie.

The flavor combinations are limited only to your imagination.

Some of my tried and true favorites are raspberry-pecan, raspberry-walnut, strawberry-almond, apricot-coconut, fig-coconut and coconut filled with lemon or lime curd.

What are some of the flavors that you think would be good? Comment below to let me know! Also, if you make these please tag me in your instagram or facebook posts, I'd love to see what you create.

Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies
recipe by Tristin Rieken at ONEarmedMAMA.com
based on recipe from Linda Rieken

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg (separated)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup finely chopped nuts (or coconut)
  • 1/4 cup jam or jelly

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. 
  • Blend flour and salt, stir in.
  • Roll dough into balls (about 1 teaspoon size).
  • Beat egg whites with fork. 
  • Dip balls in egg whites, roll in nuts. 
  • Place on ungreased baking sheet.
  • Press thumb in center and bake 10 – 12 minutes.
  • Cool. 
  • Fill with jam 
Yield: 2 dozen cookies. This recipe is easily doubled.

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